Office assists visually impaired students

FAIRBORN — Working with the tech company Sensible Innovations, the Office of Disability Services at Wright State University has found a way for individuals with low vision and blindness to navigate Wright State’s campus.

Sensible Innovations developed an app called Aware that takes advantage of iBeacons that communicate with users’ smartphones and assist them with navigation. With a series of iBeacon devices adhered to walls or ceilings, the Aware app can tell users where they are in a space and easily direct them to another location.

This can be especially helpful to low vision and blind students who are often expected to attend orientation and mobility training. If a student cannot complete the training, getting around campus can be difficult.

To further assist blind and visually impaired individuals, the Aware app can be updated with new information with facility changes and even obtain event information that can give specifics to attendees of various Wright State events.

Wright State is the first university in the country to implement the Aware app to assist blind and visually impaired students.

“We have a legacy of implementing innovative technologies to enhance the Wright State experience for our students with disabilities. Thanks to the generous financial support of the Kelchner Family Foundation Fund and the Ohio Lions Foundation, we were able to bring yet another student success support to Wright State University,” said Tom Webb, the director of disability services at Wright State.